using essential oils in shower

Essential oils have been used for centuries not only because they smell great but especially because they are proven to be amazing allies for both our mental and physical well-being. 

And you can use essential oils even in your shower and treat yourself to a luxurious spa-like experience 🧖

I’ll break it all down for you now.

Benefits of using essential oils in the shower 

essential oils

Since the dawn of time, essential oils have always been known and widely used in many ways: from religious rituals to cosmetics and most importantly, for medical purposes. One of the first recorded uses of essential oils was in the traditional Indian system of medicine, known as Ayurveda, which used oils to cure many different conditions. 

Further, it was also said that in Ancient Greece, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, often used essential oils to help Athenians cure the plague through special therapeutic showers and fumigations. Following the Greeks’ example, the benefits of essential oils were then discovered by ancient Romans who are said to have made aromatic baths a real trend.

But interestingly enough, aromatic baths are also at the core of Turkish traditions, as the typical steam bath, also known as “Hammam“, which combines heat, steam, and aromatherapy was, and is still incredibly popular due to its effectiveness. 

Nowadays, just like in ancient times, steam showers combined with aromatherapy are still very popular, as the list of benefits that they can have on both body and mind has proven to be virtually endless. Some of them are, for example:

  • Help the body get rid of toxins: adding essential oils to our shower routine can help open up the pores of the skin, and increase sweating, which is our natural way to remove toxins from our system.
  • Help achieve muscular relief: some calming oils (like Lavender essential oil for example) when inhaled and mixed with the vapor, can ease muscular tension and mental fatigue.
  • Ease respiratory problems: same as above, some oils (like Eucalyptus oil) mixed with steam can help against respiratory issues.
  • Can stimulate blood circulation: taking showers with some specific essential oils has proven to stimulate blood circulation and remove dirty blood from our system.

Best essential oils for the shower

Given the huge variety of essential oils available in nature, it can be hard to find the one perfect for your shower routine. Yes, the smell is important, but you should pick your oil also considering the effect that you’d like to trigger on your mind and body. 

So I’ve rounded up a list of my top three favorite essential oils that you can include in your shower (or steam sauna).

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is known to have great anti-inflammatory, and mucolytic effects. So as we’ve seen before, using Eucalyptus oil in combination with the steam of your shower can be a wonderful panacea for your whole respiratory system!

Lavender essential oil

Lavender essential oil is hands-down one the most used essential oil in aromatherapy because its list of benefits is virtually endless: it’s antibacterial, antifungal, muscle relaxing, anti-depressive, and heals burns and insect bites. That’s exactly why diffusing it in your shower before bedtime can help you calm down your skin, muscles, and mind, treating you with a deeply restorative sleep!

Peppermint oil

Peppermint is at the core of many traditional medicines and recently it’s also been shown to have great antiviral, antioxidant, and antitumor properties! Plus when diffusing the fresh aroma of Peppermint oil in a steamy environment like that of your shower, it can double its effect, allowing you to relax your muscles and help you fight the most common respiratory issues.

How to use essential oils in the shower

Now that we’ve explored the numerous benefits of using essential oils in the shower, you’d probably be wondering how to concretely add them to your shower routine. The good news is that, just like there’s a huge variety of oils, there’s also an incredible variety of ways in which you can use them in the shower! Let’s explore them in depth in the following sections.

DIY Shower bombs

I guess you’ve heard at least one of the amazing bath bombs, but did you know that you can make fizzy and fun shower bombs? It’s super easy and you can feel free to just let your nose guide you and choose the oils that best match your taste and needs.

Shower steamers
See my step-by-step instructions for making shower steam tablets (AKA shower bombs) with essential oils.

If you want a few other easy recipes, these were my inspiration:

  • Multi-purpose shower bomb: Simply mix ½ cup baking soda with ½ cup of cornstarch in a bowl. Add 5 tablespoons of witch hazel, which soothes irritated skin, and then gradually mix the three ingredients until smooth. Add in 20 drops of your favorite essential oil and optionally add a few drops of food coloring. Stir well and then fill some silicone molds with the mixture you’ve prepared and freeze until solid. You can use them once they’re ready or simply store them in an airtight container in a cool and dark spot.
  • Moisturizing Shower bomb: for this recipe, it’s important to use a carrier oil to mix the oils with and to make the skin wonderfully nourished. You can use the rich avocado oil or olive oil, following the same method as the previous recipe! Ideally add essential oils like Rose or Ylang-Ylang which are known for their moisturizing properties!
  • Anti-eczema Shower bomb: in a large bowl mix 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup citric acid, 1/2 cup Epsom salt, and 1/2 cup cornstarch. In a separate bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of water, and 10 drops of essential oils (the best are lavender and sandalwood). While you’re mixing these ingredients gently pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl. Transfer the mix to a mold and freeze them.

Shower head diffuser

Another way to add aromatherapy to your shower routine is by diffusing essential oils in the shower to treat you with a wonderful spa-like experience. You can pick your favorite oils or simply use essential oil blends. Here’s how:

  • Washcloth: A washcloth can be a great carrier for essential oils in the shower. Simply pour 10- 20 drops of your favorite essential oils into the washcloth and place it on the shower floor.
  • Diffuse them on the shower floor: pour 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil on the floor of the shower and stop the shower drain so you can bathe your feet in shallow water infused with essential oils. When the water is warm enough the aroma will diffuse in the air!
  • Steam cup: simply fill a cup with an ounce of warm water and around 6 drops of your essential oil of choice. Then place the cup in your shower caddy and as it warms up the shower steam will diffuse the oil contained in the cup!

Essential oil-infused body products

Another great idea to enrich your shower routine with essential oil is to add them to your body products or make your own DIY body products! Here are some cool recipes!

  • Lavender face scrub: Mix 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with approximately ½ cup of virgin coconut oil, 5 drops lavender essential oil and optionally 5 drops frankincense oil in a big glass bowl. And it’s ready! You can use it immediately or store it in an airtight container. Just remember to avoid the eye area when you’re applying it on your face!
  • DIY Detox body wash: To make your body wash simply melt 1/4 cup of coconut oil in a small saucepan and gradually stir in 2 tablespoons of green tea. Let simmer for 30 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of shea butter allowing it to melt completely. Turn off the heat. Set it aside and let it cool. Lastly, add 1/2 cup of castile soap and 1/4 cup of raw honey, and 15 drops of essential oil (ideally peppermint or lemon essential oil, which are known for their detox properties). Mix them all together and add the mixture into a dispenser.
  • Aromatherapy shampoo for all hair types: Use ¼ cup of almond or hemp milk, ¼ cup of liquid castile soap, 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oils (I’d recommend using lavender, tea tree or sweet orange, and a few drops of carrier oil, like coconut or avocado oil. Mix all the ingredients together, add them in a glass jar, and make sure you shake well before use

Try essential oils in other ways:

Common questions

As we’ve seen, essential oils can truly be essential for our mental and physical health. Still, since they encapsulate the powerful energy of plants, it’s also highly recommended to use them cautiously when showering! Here are some answers to the most common questions on how to use essential oils in complete safety.

Is it safe to put essential oils in the bath water?

Yes, but try to use max 6 – 8 drops of essential oil. Stick to six if you have sensitive skin and make sure to check the properties of the oil before use! Also remember that essential oils always need to be diluted with a carrier oil otherwise it’d be too aggressive on the skin.

Where do you put the essential oils?

When using a steam cup make sure you place it on the side of the tub or in your shower caddy, making sure to put it in an area where the water can reach, as long as the water doesn’t hit the diffuser directly.

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